Kevin Myers: Today, self-interest and stupidity seem to be as influential as applied intelligence and policy
The closure of Superquinn supermarket in Naas is a suitably grim start to the year. As it happens, the underlying reasons for the closure are apparently commercial: the calamity that has befallen the town generally raises far more worrying questions about local government in Ireland.
I know Naas well. It has undergone a unique disaster, because much of the ruin that has been visited on it was not so much economic, as political. The town has a traditional Irish main street of Georgian origin.
All traffic heading for the south-west used to pass through it, but even when it was by-passed, Naas remained prosperous -- until a series of bizarre planning decisions by Kildare County Council changed it forever.